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Book Notes: New books from Upper Valley authors

Valley News Staff Writer
Published: 2/6/2020 5:42:09 PM
Modified: 2/6/2020 5:41:59 PM

The Books page cometh only every other week, and sometimes new books cross the Close-Up desk when there just isn’t enough time to interview an author or write a review before the writer launches a book tour or holds a reading. So in the interest of keeping news about the written word moving, here are a few notes about recently published books from Upper Valley authors.

‘This Brilliant Darkness’

Journalist and Dartmouth College English professor Jeff Sharlet made his name writing books about people in power. He has written about the shadowy political-religious organization The Family, among other subjects.

His new book, This Brilliant Darkness: A Book of Strangers, is a departure, at once more personal and less structured than his previous works. Sharlet will kick off his book tour with a reading at 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Norwich Bookstore.

‘School Photos in Liquid Time’

Professors Marianne Hirsch and Leo Spitzer will talk about School Photos in Liquid Time, at 12:30 on Wednesday afternoon in the Hood Museum’s Gilman Auditorium. The book, put out by the University of Washington Press, accompanies a show at the Hood, “School Photos and Their Afterlives.” Curated by Hirsch and Spitzer, the exhibition contrasts school photographs with work by contemporary artists.

Wednesday’s talk, titled “What Do School Photos Do?” is free and open to the public, and the Norwich Bookstore will be on hand to sell copies of the book.

‘Rachel Maddow: A Biography’

This sounds like fun: Turns out Rachel Maddow, the MSNBC news personality who is to liberal viewers what Fox’s Sean Hannity is to conservatives, is a fan of craft cocktails. So where better for longtime Upper Valley writer Lisa Rogak to present her biography of Maddow than at Babes Bar in Bethel?

The event, sponsored by Woodstock’s Yankee Bookshop, is scheduled for 4 p.m. on Feb. 16. Rogak has written several books, including volumes about Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert and southern New Hampshire author Dan Brown. Rachel Maddow: A Biography was published by Thomas Dunne Books, a St. Martin’s imprint.

Alex Hanson can be reached at or 603-727-3207.

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